Navigation Links
NIH awards LIAI major grant to test safety of new smallpox treatment
Date:5/8/2008

SAN DIEGO (May 8, 2008) The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) has received a $7.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund safety and effectiveness testing of an antibody treatment that quickly fights the smallpox virus. The treatment could be the nations first line of defense in protecting against a terrorist-originated smallpox outbreak and may eventually be stockpiled nationwide alongside the smallpox vaccine.

This work is particularly important because those younger than 36 years old in the U.S. population have not been vaccinated against smallpox, which makes the need for a strong and fast-acting treatment all the more vital should we ever face a smallpox outbreak, said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., LIAI president & scientific director.

LIAI scientist Shane Crotty, Ph.D., who developed the antibody treatment, said the NIH grant will fund pre-clinical testing of the work he and his research team started three years ago. In 2005, the researchers, studying blood samples from people who had received the smallpox vaccine, were able to isolate the anti-H3 antibody as an extremely potent fighter against smallpox. The scientists then proved its effectiveness by testing in mice.

The NIH was intrigued by the work and asked Dr. Crotty to further develop the antibody treatment for use in humans. Now weve made fully human antibodies to fight the smallpox virus, said Dr. Crotty. The collaborative research team led by Dr. Crotty developed the human antibodies using technology which allows human antibodies to be developed from special genetically engineered mice.

You have to have fully human antibodies to use this treatment as a human therapeutic, explained Dr. Crotty. If further testing shows the treatment to be safe and effective in humans, Dr. Crotty said the NIH has indicated interest in stockpiling the antibody nationwide. Hopefully we will never need to use it, but if we do, the treatment will be there.

Dr. Crotty said further testing of the human antibody for safety and efficacy will be conducted using highly sophisticated animal models. We cant actually do these experiments in humans because it would be extremely dangerous and absurd to purposefully expose people to the smallpox virus, he said, noting that no live smallpox virus will be used in any of the studies. We will use experimental animal systems that can show that this antibody would work in humans without actually testing it on infected humans. Dr. Crotty said the anti-H3 human antibody has already proven to be effective in animal testing protocols that the FDA used to license the only currently existing smallpox treatment.

In that model, our antibody worked much better at treating smallpox than the currently licensed therapy, he said. The existing therapy provides only modest protection and is difficult to make because it must be purified from the blood of people who have recently had the smallpox vaccine. This is another reason our treatment is so appealing, Dr. Crotty said. Not only does the anti-H3 antibody provide better protection, but it can easily be produced in very large quantities for stockpiling.

The smallpox virus has been the subject of intense research interest worldwide in the last several years, prompted by bioterrorism concerns. The virus was mostly eradicated in the U.S. early in the 20th century and vaccinations for the general public were ended in 1972. But in the aftermath of 9-11, new concerns have arisen that the smallpox virus could be used as a bioterrorist agent. Disease experts fear that samples of the smallpox virus may have fallen into the hands of terrorists or dangerous countries at some point. This concern has led to the creation of worldwide stockpiles of the smallpox vaccine over the last several years.

While we do have a smallpox vaccine, there are concerns because people who are immuno-compromised, including infants and the aged, cannot use the current vaccine, Dr. Kronenberg said. It is estimated that as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population should not receive the vaccine.

Additionally, if there were a smallpox outbreak, there would be a certain time lapse before people could receive the vaccine. In general, vaccines are preventive, said Dr. Crotty. You must receive the vaccine before you are infected or sick. Otherwise, it wont do you any good.

However, unlike the vaccine, the anti-H3 antibody would provide immediate treatment, even if the person had already been exposed. It would work similar to how an antibiotic treats and for a short time protects against a bacterial infection, said Dr. Kronenberg. This could be very important should people become infected before they have a chance to be vaccinated.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Mangos Captures 11 HMR Awards
2. The American Psychiatric Associations Awards for Young Scientists Encourage Research Expertise in China
3. Cadient Group Continues Winning Streak; Receives Multiple Honors at 2008 Pharmaceutical Advertising and Marketing Excellence Awards
4. SRG Scoops Two Recruiter Awards for Excellence
5. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Awards Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide $1.4 Million Dollar Contract
6. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to leaders in understanding embryonic development
7. Grammy Award Winner Patti LaBelle Is Featured Entertainer at Lupus Foundation of America Awards Gala
8. Aesthetic Society Awards Journalists Commitment to Patient Education
9. 2008 Welcome Back Awards Winners Honored for Extraordinary Achievements in the Field of Depression
10. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Wins Three National Awards for Communications Excellence from Council on Foundations
11. SCAI awards 46 grants for interventional cardiology training fellowships
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps , official operators of Nike ... high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in the picturesque New ... ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are thrilled to be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... , ... Give To Cure today announced that it is working ... To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find cures faster for ... a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in transactions among users. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Dr. Justin Scott and Dr. Lydia Muccioli of Pure Dental Health ... in need. The event is scheduled to take place on February 27, 2016 from ... dental care to community members in need. Each patient will be given the opportunity ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... In sleep, when the defenses of ... A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders is significant self-criticism, and consequently these ... and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for coping with this unease, but also ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Calls Blacklist has ... completely new user interface design and the developer has fixed known bugs within the ... want to on their phone while not consuming any of their device’s battery power ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... N.Y. , Feb. 5, 2016  Henry Schein, ... health care products and services to office-based dental, animal ... entered into an agreement to acquire a majority ownership ... supplies and equipment in Brazil . ... Headquartered in Blumenau, Brazil, Dental Cremer is the dental distribution ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... For hospitals considering enrollment in the Federal ... the program, the Health Resources and Services Administration,s (HRSA) ... Mega-Guidance , could have significant impact on plans and ... 2016. Essential Insights , Daniel Neal, ... the Mega-Guidance,s key proposed changes, including a new requirement ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016   Bernstein Liebhard LLP today announced ... United States District Court for the District of ... consisting of all persons or entities who purchased common shares ... INSY ) from March 3, 2015 through January 25, 2016 ... its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: